SpaceX to launch a Thai TV broadcasting satellite in 2013

SpaceXHawthorne-based rocket manufacturer SpaceX has confirmed that it had hit a contract with Thaicom Plc. to launch a television broadcasting satellite.

SpaceX, the brainchild of Tesla Motors CEO and PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, will launch the Thaicom 6 satellite aboard a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., sometime in the second quarter of 2013.

Speaking on the deal, Elon Musk said, "This deal highlights the confidence that satellite operators have in SpaceX capabilities, and is the latest example of the effect SpaceX is having on the international commercial launch market.”

SpaceX is space transport firm which will initially offer its Falcon 9 system to deliver cargo and astraunouts to the International Space Station sometime in future.

The Thaicom 6 communications satellite, which will be designed, manufactured and tested at Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Dulles-based satellite manufacturing facility, will serve the rapidly growing satellite television market in Asia.

SpaceX declined to disclose the exact financial terms of the deal, but said that a standard Falcon 9 flight costs something around US$54 million.